when forever ended

to believe in forever

requires forgetting

before and after

the Kabbalist’s creation:

we could only exist

after God contracted

letting us live

under a fragmented sky

in your name

the same contradiction

smooth sounds

hiding consonants

breaking my forever

into before

and after


sidewalk communion 

i was a pilgrim in exercise clothes

lost in the rosary of steps

the davening of dislocation

how strange to pray

blocks from church street

to feel god's reassurance

over the passing cars

and pigeons flapping wings

i had to sit, had to feel 

something steady 

as time and waiting 

became a farce

had to hold onto something

as the myth of someone better

a more perfect savior

fell away

i’d wanted a path

a holy site to find

and tell me my place

in the chaos of things

so god laughed

and gave me the world

after she cut Samson’s hair

when i returned

they gave me

many names

moonlight scythe

midnight mongoose

snake charmer

they thought it was praise

but i knew the curse

binding me

to the dark

to a knife

to him

forever more

and less

than we were

Katie Simpson is a writer and photographer in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in Eastern Iowa Review, HitRecord's Body Book, and Entropy Magazine among others. You can follow her here.